Alfred C. (Al) Berrey, age 94 of rural Darlington, passed away Sunday, May 15th, after a short illness.
Al was born November 19, 1927 at home in Marshall County, IA to Isaac (Ike) and Mildred (Anselme) Berrey. He grew up on farms in Minerva and Marietta townships, attending Hazel Green School. He attended Albion High School and graduated from Clemons High School in 1945. In November 1945 he enlisted in the Navy, completed basic at the US Naval Training center in San Diego, and was stationed at Astoria, Washington until his discharge in 1948.
After returning to Iowa, Al worked on the farm, where he met the girl riding in the milk truck, who made him a “one woman man for life.” He married Delores Jacques on May 24, 1952 at Faith Lutheran Church in Kirksville, Missouri. Al worked as a milk tester for Iowa DHIA to help farmer “prove up” their herd bulls. He also was an artificial cattle inseminator for Eastern Iowa Breeders, which later became Carnation. Next he was the sales and service rep for Surge Milking Systems for 4 central Iowa Counties. While working these jobs he farmed shares on the Agnes Ingledue farm by Bromley (try and find that on a map) a mile east of Clemons. In 1960 he went farming full time with Frank Allen, next to the Ingledue farm. With the help of Jr Saltou and his wife Pat he raised corn, soybeans and milo on the sandy soils to feed the Hereford beef and hogs.
Al was looking for a farm to buy, so in 1969 he bought his own farm east of Darlington, WI because “$300 per acre land in Iowa was too high!” He farmed there until 1979, then rented the farm out when his children were gone from home. He joined his friends Ron and Betty Everist as handyman at the resort for winter Texans they purchased in Rio Hondo, Texas. When the resort was sold Al returned to the Farm in Darlington where he resided until his passing.
Al is survived by three children: Roy (Sheila) Berrey of rural Mineral Point, Michal (Bob) Hornby of Janesville, and Margo (Nick) Lawinger of rural Spring Green. Also, his grandchildren: Nicholas (Tracy) Lawinger, Nichole Lawinger, Curtis Lawinger, Brandon, (Mindy) Berrey, Rick (Hayle) Berrey, Mallory (Joe) Ballard, LauraLee (William) Norton, Tabitha Hornby, Maria Hornby, Felicia (Alvaro Santana) Hornby, and Belinda (Dre) Crowe, as well as 20 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister, Barbara Schickel of Mineral Point, one brother Gilbert (Bonnie) Berrey of Albion, IA, and sisters-in-law Marilyn Jacques of Longmont, CO, Minette Paul of Longmont, Co, and Leola Davis of Baxter, IA.
He is preceded in death by his wife, son Roger, and daughter Maxine, all in 1960, his parents, a son Ricky, a brother Glenn, brothers-in-law David Schickel and Eugene Jacques, and sisters-in-law Doris-Ann Ream Warfield, Helen Berrey, and Donna Jacques Lathrop.
Al is a member of the Bates-O’Brien-Howe-Wiegel-Roelli American Legion in Darlington and previously a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, State Center, and Grace Lutheran Church, Darlington. He enjoyed riding his “gator” around the farm, playing cribbage with the local card sharks and taking in farm sales with his friend, Bob Mosley. Over the years, he received many, various visitors at his “come as you are” farm home. He welcomed any smiling face for engaging conversation, “be they saint or sinner”. Special thanks to Zane Riley and Al Hinderman who lead the crew that checked in with Al on a daily basis. Also, thanks to Mineral Point Health Services and Upland Hills Hospital for the great care he received these last months.
A memorial service will be held at Bates-O’Brien-Howe-Wiegel-Roelli American Legion hall in Darlington on June 17 at 4:00 pm. A celebration of Al’s life will be held at 6:00 pm at the same location. A memorial celebration will be held in Marshall County at a later date. Erickson Funeral Home in Darlington will be handling arrangements. No flowers, please. A memorial will be established in Al’s name.